22-year-old Minhaj Ansari was arrested last week for sharing “objectionable comment about beef” on WhatsApp. He died in custody due to beating his postmortem examination has concluded. He was arrested on October 2 in Jamtara district and died on October 9 at a hospital in Ranchi.
The postmortem report has concluded that his body bore abrasions and internal injury. Doctors also suspected that he had not been fed during the initial days of custody. His body will be sent to forensic lab for further examination.
Ansari was taken to the Narayanpura police station on October 2, following the arrest because he reportedly made an objectionable comment about beef on WhatsApp that started circulating in Dighari village. Few others were initially detained but were released later.
Two days later, Ansari’s father, Umar Sheikh, and the rest of his family came to know that Ansari had been shifted to Dhanbad for treatment after he reportedly sustained injuries in police custody.
Jamtara Deputy Commissioner Ramesh Kumar Dubey told The Indian Express, “they went to the police station along with other villagers. There was a scuffle at the police station between Ansari’s parents and the officer-in-charge, Harish Pathak. Ansari’s family filed a written complaint against Pathak, following which an FIR of attempt to murder and outraging the modesty of a woman was registered against him. The officer was suspended immediately. After Ansari’s death, the attempt to murder charge has been changed to a murder charge.”
Ansari was shifted to RIMS hospital on October 7, where he died on Sunday.
The police took action against Ansari because they felt that circulation of such messages on beef would disturb the communal peace of the area. The area is now under close surveillance of security force. The district administration has ordered a joint inquiry by the Sub Divisional Officer and Sub Divisional Police Officer.
A solatium worth Rs 2 lakh has been offered to the victim’s family.